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Conversations with creators and thinkers who are charting the way forward in a tech-saturated society. Tech, community, video games, and whatever else is next.
December 10, 2018: Rex Sorgatz, author, "The Encyclopedia of Misinformation"
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[Someone] leaves a house in upstate New York at 7 a.m. and travels to a middle school 14 miles away, staying until late afternoon each school day. Only one person makes that trip: Lisa Magrin, a 46-year-old math teacher. Her smartphone goes with her.The twist? That was just the database of one company. There are at least 75 such companies that maintain such surveillance databases. "These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds seeking insights into consumer behavior..." Companies like IBM are heavily invested (IBM just bought the Weather Channel app for guess-what-purpose). Smaller players are, too, like Tell All Digital, a Long Island-based ad agency hired by personal-injury attorneys to send ads to people using their phones in emergency rooms.
An app on the device gathered her location information, which was then sold without her knowledge. It recorded her whereabouts as often as every two seconds, according to a database of more than a million phones in the New York area that was reviewed by The New York Times. While Ms. Magrin’s identity was not disclosed in those records, The Times was able to easily connect her to that dot.
The app tracked her as she went to a Weight Watchers meeting and to her dermatologist’s office for a minor procedure. It followed her hiking with her dog and staying at her ex-boyfriend’s home, information she found disturbing. . . .
The database reviewed by The Times — a sample of information gathered in 2017 and held by one company — reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day.
|Artist||Track||Album||Images||Approx. start time|
|Tomas Dvorak||Game Boy Tune||Machinarium Soundtrack||0:00:00 (Pop‑up)|
|Mark's intro||0:00:32 (Pop‑up)|
|Interview with Rex Sorgatz||0:25:53 (Pop‑up)|
|The Raffeys||Big Brother||Eep Snörpsh Now||0:53:57 (Pop‑up)|